When it comes to health, knowing how to balance hormones and digestion plays a much more important role than you think.
We could say that hormones control everything that happens in our bodies.
Hormones are like “messengers” produced in the glands so that your body performs different functions such as: sleeping, digesting, regulating your temperature, fat burning, hunger control, ovulating, detoxifying, etc. All hormones work together.
You can’t move one without the others. If you’ve gained weight or can’t lose those extra pounds even though you’re doing everything “right,” but you are tired, unmotivated, don’t sleep well, and your digestion has changed, you most likely have a hormonal imbalance.
Although hormonal imbalances are common, it’s not normal, and it is NOT ok that you feel bad or uncomfortable. These symptoms are the result of bad habits. The good news? You can do something about it.
Hormonal imbalance is an epidemic in modern society that can wreak havoc on women in many ways.
As we’ve said earlier, hormones are chemical messengers produced by the endocrine glands to regulate several critical processes in the body.
These include metabolism, body growth, mood swings, sexual functions, and reproduction.
All hormones work together in a complex system of delicate, interconnected relationships, like a symphony. In an orchestra, if a single instrument is out of tune, it won’t work; or imposes itself on others and can jeopardize the entire performance.
Hormones that are not finely balanced can result in suboptimal health and, therefore, impacting the quality of life; as well as exhibiting a wide variety of symptoms and conditions that may include:
- Mood swings
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Weight gain
- Acne and other skin problems
- Headaches / Migraine
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Infertility and reproduction
- Low Libido
- Depression / Anxiety
- Thyroid disease
- Insulin Resistance / Metabolic Syndrome / Diabetes Mellitus Type II
The conventional medical approach to dealing with female hormone imbalances’ manifestations is to treat them with medications and therapy.
Hormone replacement therapy, including birth control pills, is recommended when the symptoms of female hormones are specific.
From the perspective of conventional medical communities, hormone imbalance symptoms may be benign, such as PMS and low libido; and women may have a sense that these symptoms are a “normal” part of the female experience.
In the holistic health community, “bio-identical” hormone replacement therapy is promoted as a more natural and safe option.
Unfortunately, these medical approaches do not address the root causes of hormone imbalance in the body and don’t recognize the complex relationships in the endocrine system.
Tips to balance hormones
The following tips for females on how to balance hormones will help you understand the root cause of this problem in your body and put you on the path to better overall health.
1. Eat real food in a nutrient-dense diet (also known as Paleo)
The basic components that make up hormones include amino acids, lipids, and cholesterol. These components are derived directly from the foods you eat.
To produce healthy hormones, you must consume high-quality sources of protein and fat.
These sources of healthy protein hormones include meat from grazing animals, chicken, eggs, pork, and wild fish.
Sex hormones are particularly dependent on healthy sources of saturated fat and cholesterol, including butter from grazing cows, lard and tallow (beef), coconut oil, wild-caught fish, and eggs from free-range chickens.
Numerous minerals and vitamins also support the normal production and balance of hormones.
The Paleo model for nutrients includes a wide variety of vegetables, high-quality proteins, and fats, plus a moderate amount of fruits that can ensure your vitamin and mineral needs for healthy hormone production are being met.
Also, Offal is a concentrated source of nutrients and should be incorporated into the diet to ensure hormonal balance.
2. Control blood sugar
During this intricate process of balancing the body’s blood sugar, insulin is a hormone that carries glucose (a type of sugar) from the blood into the cells, which can later be used as fuel.
Insulin acts synergistically with many other hormones in the body. Consuming large amounts of carbohydrates, especially in a low-fat diet, leads to blood sugar changes, in which blood sugar rises quickly and then falls sharply.
When blood sugar drops too low, the stress response is particularly active to raise blood sugar to a safe level.
The stress response is modulated by the cortisol hormone, which affects every system in the body and can lead to general inflammation and hormonal imbalance.
One of the effects of increased insulin is a decrease in the production of sex hormone carrier globulin (SHBG).
Consistent high levels of insulin can also affect hormonal health in other ways. When large amounts of sugars are consumed from refined carbohydrates or too many carbohydrates in general, there is an increase in insulin levels to keep blood sugar regulated.
In a woman’s body, SHBGs bind to estrogen and make it an inactive form so that it can be safely excreted from the body. Without enough SHBGs to bind to them, too much estrogen remains in the bloodstream, which leads to a condition known as “estrogen dominance.”
Estrogen dominance is often responsible for many hormone imbalance symptoms, specifically related to women’s health problems.
To keep normal blood sugar levels, refined carbohydrates, added sugars, grains, and legumes must be removed from the diet. These foods cause blood sugar to rise and can perpetuate the inflammatory cycle.
Instead, adopt a Paleo diet that includes healthy carbohydrates in the form of vegetables and fruits. To slow the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, it is important to eat balanced foods that include healthy fats and proteins.
A Paleo diet will be naturally lower in carbohydrates than the Standard American Diet (SAD), but there is still a possibility of consuming many carbohydrates within a Paleo scheme.
In general, consuming too many carbohydrates, even from healthy sources, can be problematic for women who already have hormonal health problems.
Because excessive intake of healthy carbohydrates can still lead to blood sugar imbalances.
Every woman is unique and may have to experiment to find the right amount of carbohydrates to meet the body’s needs.
However, not eating enough carbohydrates can also promote female hormonal imbalance. Therefore, intermittent fasting and nutritional ketosis may not be the best option for those struggling with hormonal problems.
3. Avoid foods with phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring estrogenic compounds found in plant-origin foods, including legumes, nuts, and seeds. These compounds mimic estrogen and can be harmful to women who are estrogen-dominant or very low in estrogen.
The actions of phytoestrogens in the body are complex and can easily trigger “over-regulation” or “under-regulation” of natural estrogen production. If a woman is already struggling with hormonal health problems, this can be harmful.
Soy contains large amounts of phytoestrogens, so it should be avoided for a healthy hormone balance. Within the Paleo model, nuts and seeds are often included as sources of nutrients.
However, if a woman shows symptoms of estrogen dominance and other reproductive health problems, it is recommended that nuts and seeds be minimized or avoided.
Eating too many nuts and seeds can also influence the balance of fatty acids in the body, affecting hormonal balance.
4. Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are important for the production of hormones throughout the body.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and enzymes necessary for optimal liver function.
The liver has the primary responsibility for body detoxification and the breakdown of hormones for recycling and/or excretion. If the liver is not functioning at an optimal level, the hormonal balance can be significantly affected.
As part of a high nutrient diet, fruits and vegetables are also an important fiber source in the diet. Low-fiber diets are associated with hormonal imbalance in women, as they are responsible for the proper function of the digestive system and the healthy promotion of hormones.
Although the liver processes many hormones, the digestive tract is an excretor of hormones. If there is poor mobility or an imbalance of intestinal flora in the digestive tract, the hormones can be reabsorbed and can re-enter the bloodstream.
Fibers increase SHBG production, which binds to sex hormones to prevent reabsorption. It also improves motility to keep waste moving through the digestive system and helps feed the intestinal flora, which plays an important role in its own healthy balance of hormones.
5. Maintain a healthy gut
The digestive tract is home to 100 billion microorganisms, also known as the gut (intestinal flora).
The gut flora plays a critical role in functions vital to human survival, and modern science is only beginning to investigate the surface of the complex ways in which the gut flora influences the health of the entire body.
One of the gut functions is to assist with the metabolism and processing of hormones. Some hormones are broken down and recycled in the gut flora.
In the case of thyroid hormones, the gut flora’s job is the conversion of inactive T4 to the active form of thyroid hormone, T3.
Eating a nutrient-dense diet can set the path to promoting a healthy intestinal flora throughout our lives.
In severe intestinal dysbiosis cases, probiotic supplementation may be a necessary option for further healing of the intestine. A healthy gut helps to prevent irregular balance hormones.
How to balance hormones with 5 natural remedies
1. Lemon balm for hyperthyroidism
The thyroid is one of the most important hormonal glands. And when it secretes too many hormones, you develop hyperthyroidism. This can bring different disorders, such as tachycardia, anxiety, sweating, and difficulty sleeping.
A natural remedy for treating this problem is lemon balm tea. Not only is it relaxing, which relieves symptoms of anxiety, headache, etc. But also because it can help to reduce the hormonal secretion of the thyroid.
Preparing it’s easy; you have to put the lemon balm (or dried leaves) in a cup, pour boiling water, and let it rest for 8-10 minutes. Strain and drink once a day.
2. Flax seeds and flax oil to regulate estrogen
Both flax seeds and flax oil are trendy, and they’re especially noted for their high content of omega-3 essential fatty acids. This is important for the body and not so easy to find in plant-origin foods, so flax is popular in vegan diets.
But beyond that, there is evidence that it could help regulate estrogen, which is always good news for women. According to different studies, “flax seeds may have an anti-estrogenic effect. Its use may lessen the effects of oral contraceptives and estrogen replacement therapies.”
3. Maca for the entire lymphatic system
Maca is considered a superfood because of its incredible nutritional and healing properties. Among the latter include its hormone regulating effect.
It works by regulating the lymphatic system due to the stimulation of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. In this way, it is a perfect food for any hormonal deregulation.
4. Ginseng tea for hypothyroidism
As we said before, the proper functioning of the thyroid is vital for getting hormones in order. When this gland produces fewer hormones than it should, we talk about hypothyroidism, which can cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, weight gain, weak hair, and nails, among others.
Furthermore, ginseng is a natural stimulant, ideal for counteracting the symptoms of hypothyroidism. It helps you by improving focus; it also makes you feel energized and less tired.
That’s why it’s commonly used in people with hypothyroidism, to reverse the symptoms.
To make a tea, mix one teaspoon of this herb in a boiling water cup, and rest for 5 minutes. Then strain and serve.
5. Regulate and balance hormones with Fennel
To keep hormones regulated during the menstrual cycle, the fennel is a perfect ally. It helps to avoid hormonal peaks and relieves the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, muscular pains, and spasms during the cycle, as well as symptoms of menopause.
The best way to take it is infused (tea), one cup in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Hormonal health depends on a delicate balance. Many variables can disrupt the secretion of hormones generated in various glands such as the thyroid and pituitary. And organs such as the ovaries, testicles, and pancreas.
A good balance depends on your habits: food, physical activity, sleep quality, or emotional state. There are also physiological variables, such as genetics, which can lead to hormonal disorders.
In conclusion, it’s not always easy to achieve wellness and well-being, and hormonal functions you may have will directly impact how you feel and how you will feel in your day-to-day life. By following these tips, you will soon notice the difference.
REMEMBER: the basis for enjoying good health is often in changing habits, as proposed by health experts. We need to nourish ourselves adequately and activate by doing things that contribute to our integral well-being.